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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  December 24, 2010 4:00am-5:00am EST

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twitter.av >> i just joiny. -- joined.ot ano >> i got another good couplein m weeks in me. >> i'm tired of it. >> bill, anything you want to plug? >> i will try to unplug unplu something, if i can.ing i just found out after thei third viewing of the 15thutft hour of "the today show" hoda has a boyfriend. i am unplugging the tag that says bill shultz should date hoda. i hope he is very old hoda andot not rich.h >> i think you are giving upnk n too easily.g it is a ploy to make youo upset.make you >> you think so? >> yes. >> mike baker, everybody, i'm greg, see you later.
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>> bret: a blast team supervisor in sumpster county, florida, is believed to have died when the ground gave way rpd him and he fell in the pit. authorities on the scene say rescue operations have now become recovery operations. interior secretary ken salazar says he will reverse bushbe era policy. he says the land will once again be eligible for federal
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wilderness protection. rahm emanuel's mayoral campaign got a boost today. chicago board of elections ruled that the former white house chief of staff can be placed op the februaribe ballot. emanuel's residency is challenged by more than two dozen people. that fight could still end up in court. if you were following the news today, you may have heard or read that president obama is being called the comeback kid. reminiscent of bill clinton for his victories in the lame duck session of congress. after taking a shelf described shellacking in the mid-term election. molly henneberg looks at what happened and why. >> president obama leaving washington last night said he was, "persistent" during the lame duck session. when congress traditional doesn't do much. >> i was in congress for 26 years and we had lame duck of varying lengths. generally, they're not productive. this unusual. >> most lame ducks are that, lame ducks where they limp out
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of count, punt and everybody goes home. >> there have been exceptions including the house impeachment of president clinton in december of 1998. there were no lame duck session from 1954-1970. if congress did convene after election it was for a specific purpose like passing a spending bill. since 1998, there have been seven lame duck sessions in a row. prior to that, the record for consecutive lame duck sessions was three. during world war ii. among the legislation is deal with republicans for bush era tax cut and repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." also legislation on child nutrition. nuclear arms treaty with russia. why the big push? numbers game. >> this is best time democrats could do what they had to do while they still had the vote. >> republicans take over of the house. because of the type of lame
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duck session is so unusual, capitol hill watchers aren't sure what voters will think. >> it will be interesting to see when the members go back home what kind of reaction they get. both on the left, and on the right. i think that is going to factor in to how congressional leaders lead going to the new congress. >> former congressman davis says the victories often short-lived and president still faces a troubled economy, war in afghanistan and expected budget battle with republicans. in washington molly henneberg, fox news. newly released e-mail show new york city mayor michael bloomberg office worked behind the scenes for organizers of proposed mosque and community center near ground zero and indicate city official intervene to get a temporary permit so the organizers could hold the worship services. e-mail show city official composed a letter for the group to send to a community board. attempt to honor the
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latest royal cup is striking out with critics. and is nancy pelosi going hollywood in order to boost
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>> bret: now some fresh pickings from the political gapevine. permission slips for the pledge of allegiance. it happened at one boston area public school. edward devotion school principal gerardo martinez
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sent a letter to parents announcing the school would begin weekly recitals of the "pledge of allegiance" in accordance with massachusetts state law. he told the parents "students and teachers may choose to stand and recite the pledge but are not legally retired to do so." tear-off should asked parents to indicate if the child would participate. after complaints martinez said he didn't attempt it as a permission slip but a way to encourage healthy discussion. a federal appeals court denied request to hear a case involving 14 memorial crosses on utah highways. that were ruled unconstitutional. they wanted to reverse a ruling that banned the non-profit to put logo on crosses to honor troopers killed in the line of duty. the 12-foot crosses represented an endorsement of christianity. incoming house minority
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leader nancy pelosi is reportedly calling in the big guns to help the democrats rebrand themselves. the "washington post" says she is consulting marketing experts to build a stronger brand and is asking for advice from steven spielberg. the director spokesman told reporters spielberg made it his career to direct actors not political figure. the post called at it classic non-denial denial. they're sour on the royal mint to release commemorative coin releasing prince william and bride-to-be. they say it's unflattering. middleton appears plump with bags under her eyes and some likeped william's image to al gore. now a portrait of another kind. involving a true american hero. james rosen has the story of
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louis zamparini. >> 75 summers ago, american athletes arrived in berlin for the 1936 olympics presided over by adolf hitler. the sensation was track star jesse owens who shattered records. also competing was louie who finished the 5,000-meter event with a stunning sprint under hitler's watchful eye. from his home, now 93, he remembers. >> i was invited to meet hitler. a quick hand touch and that was it. he simply said boy, with the fast finish. >> even before japan attacked pearl harbor, louee enlisted in the army air corps and assigned to drop bombs from this b-. he bombed waked island and
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phosphate plant on naru island. >> we were told to flatten it. i bombed the bombers and the factory and i had an alternate bomb and i got it on a shack that was fuel supply. it was 8,000 feet. >> suddenly, superman was pursued by the fighter planes. >> the right tail was shot off, and tire flattened and blood over the plane. zeb men injured. got them back alive. one died. >> he narrowly escaped death, but then testifies ordered to take on -- ordered to take a rescue mission in the green hornet. >> we're flying along and motor goes out. crashed and i ducked low and held on to the raft. it knew this was it. i'm dead. >> he and two crewmates
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survived but one pilot phillips was badly wounded. i have a tacked by sharps and fighter planes, starving, sick and wasting away, the trio drifted 2,000 miles on pair of flimsy life raft. >> the tail gunner panicked. got on his knees and started screaming we're going to die, we're all going to die. >> in time, that tail gunner mcnamara redeemed himself by saving louie's life, but on the 13th day at sea, mcnamara died. and then the two down to half the body weight were rescued to be sent to the hellish p.o.w. camp in the pacific. back home, loeie olympian from california was deemed dead. but he went through two years of torture from the captors. >> they had nightmares on this "bird" guy. if i looked away from his
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eyes, he punched me out for looking away. if i stared in his eyes he punched me for staring in his eyes. every day he did something to me. hit me over the head with a buckle and cracked my skull open and down on the ground bleeding. he hands me toilet paper to wipe the blood. then he says ohh, i'm sorry. i thought he can't be so bad after all. i wipe the blood off. i looked at it and he hit me again. >> he was be repatriated and he married and published his story. nightmare continued, lingering form of torture by "the bird." by then, war criminal on the run destined to live quietly until his death in 2003. louie descended in alcoholism and his wife cynthia was fixing to leave him.
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>> we were falling apart. >> in the fall of 1949, prompted by cynthia, he attended religious revival led by dynamic preacher delivering the gospel in a tent in los angeles. there the tormented p.o.w. found salvation. >> the reverend dr. billy graham brings the word. >> two roads. one leads to judgment and destruction and hell and the other leads to life in this life and life to come. and heaven. >> she had known and heard billy graham and gave her life over to christ and i realized what a heel i was to turn my back on god. i went to the prayer room and made a confession of my faith in christ and my life was revolutionized in a moment. >> the rest of his life he spent mentoring troubled youth. he would run again carrying the torch in 1984 olympics and returneded to japan, to forgive his prison guards and
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then to carry torch in the games. it's told in the best seller "unbroken" who is also the author of "sea biscuit." in his 10th decade of life he tepdz the garden but does not nurture the notion of himself as a hero. >> people call me and write me letters you're an inspiration. i go to hospital and see guys with a leg off and arm off. peopleto me, people who are heroes are people who lose their limbs and things like that. >> for fox news, james rosen. >> bret: fantastic story. we'll talk about with a could be a big break for the aarp in the president healthcare plan. fox all-stars join me after the break.
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. we are now closer to healthcare reform than we have been before, due in no smart part to the outstanding team
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you have at aarp. i'm extraordinarily pleased and grateful to learn that the aarp and the american medical association are supporting the health insurance reform bill. >> there are just hundreds and hundreds of provisions that most people even those who think they're informed don't know about it. you can count on every year for the next six or seven years as this unfolds that we will discover provisions that no one was aware is in the legislation. this legislation is complicated and complex. >> bret: we talk about it a lot that h.h.s. will put out regulations as the law is implemented in 2014. this is one of the regulations that came out tuesday, a couple days ago. 136 pages long. in it, they suggest that president obama's reform law
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is essentially giving preferential treatment to the aarp. for its sponsorship of a medicare supplement plan. we will explain this. it gets in the weeds. it tells a bigger picture about the healthcare law. stephen hayes, erin billings and charles krauthammer. shorthand it for us. why is it a concern, steve? what does it mean? >> it's a concern because the aarp, as you point out, lobbied for the bill. supported healthcare reform of one kind or another for decades really. clearly has the exemptions and the white house says it's categorically untrue it has resumptions and the white house is playing game with semantic. aarp is not technically an insurer but they provide their name to insurance companies
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and market to other people so the seniors will buy the products. >> bret: one is medigap. >> they do it for the standard insurance and medigap and any number of things and they make a ton of money. doing this. $650 million doing this. the administration is saying they might have the xechgs but because they're not technically insurance companies we don't have to treat them the same way we treat insurance companies. therefore there is nothing untoward about them. >> bret: aarp gets a kickback, what they call a royalty,'ve time they bring someone to a prom. they testify on capitol hill they were going to release how much they get for each person they sign up. >> they haven't done that yet.
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they know they get $1.14 million of the aarp brings in every year, $650 million of that is due to royalties and of that amount 65 is due to health related royalties. >> bret: the head of aarp said it doub a problem. >> right. the head in the obama administration and lobbyist worked in clinton administration said 90% of the campaign contribution of the 2010 cycles affiliated with the aarp went to democrats. >> bret: now that i grilled steve enough. erin, big picture. republicans talked in the new congress of trying to unravel the healthcare law. with examples and regulation coming out all the time and complexity here. does the job get easier or harder? >> this is what the
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republicans will seize on. they know they can't repeal this law right now. with obama in the white house, they can't do it. so they'll try to build a political argument. one republican said it's a death by 1,000 cuts. so if they take issues like these exemptions, and further regulation and the challenges in the court to be able to build that argument this law is flawed, and we don't know what is in it and maybe it's not so great for you, they can get to 2012 and say put republicans in the white house and we'll really get rid of the law. >> the problem is complication and complexity of the law. you have a wide package of regulation for one provision. there are hundreds of provisions in the bill. there are some we don't know about or will discover in time. each of them is going to give, imagine the pow they're the h.h.s. department has in writing it.
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write it in ways where all the complexity doesn't introduce inefficiency and also introduce huge increases in cost, it's inherently corrupt. one example, a few weeks ago, mcdonald's said it would have to drop the coverage for its workers because of an arbitrary provision in the bill where the insurers could only a gait 20% of the revenues to overhead and profit. 26%. it turned out the mcdonald's employers couldn't do that. so they went on bended knee to h.h.s. and they got waivers. some companies will get waivers, others won't. think of the power it exerts on the person on the other side of that transaction. they have to calculate. they don't want to impose or
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in any way the administration in power. that is what is wrong with the system this complex and this many arbitrary provision. >> bret: white house press secretary robert gibbs asked about the republican evident to try to unravel healthcare. he por frays insurance company as bad guys. >> the general benefit that the law provided to americans and they'll have to talk about what happens when you put inshurps companies rather than family in charge of medical decision. >> bret: that is their argument. >> setting aside it's family this charge of the decision rather than board, this is argument all along. interesting to see the tonel difference with the insurance company and stakeholders toer people supporting the bill. sebelius, when insurance companies said we have to raise the premiums because the law will set us back.
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more people and sicker people. administration wrote a sharp letter. warning them. you can't make the decisions. we decide what is reasonable and unreasonable. and we're telling you it's not reasonable to raise premiums. then on the other hand, you take the way their treating the aarp, the exemption here and here and here. it's a law to benefit aarp for organization that supported the law in the first place. >> bret: erin? republicans take up appeal because they can't get through democratic president and unral it in committee? >> that is part of the strategy. there is oversight hearings and they will attack it from all sides. there will be attempt to defund it. they will go after it on every
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angle policy. >> there will be a lot of material. >> power they require winning the house they can have the open hearings where the issues and exemptions, these instance or corruption or favoritism are exposed not on the evening news but in hearings. >> bret: next up, more tension on korean peninsula. vote in the online poll
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the revolutionary armed forces are getting fully
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prepared to launch justice korean style to use military deter hunt when necessary. >> there seems to be more pragmatism when they spew the negative rhetoric. i still worry because the peninsula is a tenderbox. and any escalation will be costly. >> new mexico governor bill rich sond just back from north korea and what he calls the private peace mission to pyongyang, as the tensions continue there. we're back with the pam. charles, your thoughts? >> love the threat from atheist regime going to launch a sacred war. it tells us a lot about them. what is interesting here is that one of the reason that the north koreanbes had gone easy and not responded to the exercise that the south koreans conducted earlier in
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the week was because china is exerted influence. you have to ask yourself why all of a sudden? the reason is they have a decade for showing spies, they a nationalistic government hand radicalized by the attack two weeks ago that killed civilians, the first time. so you have a population that is not going to take it anymore. as a result of the reaction by the south koreaps who always appeased north and not responded and encouraged regression. they are showing that the chinese are getting worried about this. and they understood unless they hold back the north koreans you can have an caselation in a second -- escalation in a second korea war. >> bret: china it appears is getting more engaged, that's
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what the administration asked china to do. according to reports today. >> they're setting a different tone when it comes to china. is china sufficiently engaged? i don't know. i don't know if we would even know that. i don't mean the press. i mean the u.s. what china does with north korea i don't know. i don't think china wants a war either. it's not this their best interest. and they don't want slew of refugees coming over with the border. i'm interested in january 19, when the chinese president heis here visiting obama. what happens in the talks, because obama has to get to brass tax to say what you did is one thing but we need you to back it up. not in our interest to see them go to war. >> just started, and four days live with the military
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exercises. testing. the restrength of the north koreans. you are seeing video of this now. this, of course, led to the artillery attack. >> right. they had to do it. they couldn't show that they were afraid of doing these live fire drill. the question, i think there are reasons to be skeptical that the administration would suggest and leak to reporter bus let's say that china is more actively engaged and inserting the influence they want to now since 1994. the question become what is are we giving them in return. it's the latest series of incidents that china wanted a return, six party talk. my hope is the administration is very well holding north korea at arm's length, not
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givingnens the legitimacy they speak and won't jump to six party talks for payback to exert whatever modest influence they're exerting if they are. >> bret: richardson says the white house told him twice not to go. do you think this mission they went on -- >> i don't think it made a difference. if you will to what he said. all of a sudden he is in a room and said north koreans were listening carefully to me when i said "x," "y," "z." how does he know this? he has played for a fool repeatedly in the past by the north koreaps and why should we believe it's different this time? >> the trip was about richardson, it wasn't about war and peace. i think the chinese are responding to the resistance shown by seoul and washington, the south koreans are not caving in and the chinese are not worried about -- i'm not
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sure this is a carrot deal. i think they are worried that if their decline continues it could lead to war unintended, which is the last thing the chinese want. in the south they'd not respond and give aid in full. >> bret: the tone has shifted and the administration seems to be taking this threat a little more seriously, at least in what they're saying. >> yes. the tone also changed because they say they now believe the chinese when they say they are in fact directly engaging. maybe they are trying to set the tone for january. it's to be seen. >> bret: yeah. steve, six party talks start again. >> ambassador bosworth was the representative there said immediately that we need to get back to the six party talks. that's where we're headed. it could excerpt itself. >> bret: that is it for the
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panel. stay tune for a little grinch  >รง
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>> bret: finally tonight, we are less than a day and a half from an exciting morning for million of good little boys and girls around the christmas tree. this little boy last christmas, well, he had some second thoughts about one of the gifts.

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